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Joe Morgan Shows Us How Not to Take the High Road

Look, it’s pretty difficult for anyone to go through getting fired from their job much less having to talk about it. I get that. But Joe Morgan’s response to being removed from ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball coverage is, well, exactly why we all wanted him gone.

SbB Live shared with us Morgan’s response to losing his job (via the New York Times): “I was not surprised by ESPN’s decision. They have been taking ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ in a different direction the last two years and I was not comfortable with that direction.”

Just like Joe to make this about him. See, it was his decision, not ESPN’s for him not to return. Joe was not comfortable with ESPN’s direction. What direction was that, towards the truth? Towards analysis that makes sense and doesn’t include fibs? Analysis for the enlightened baseball fan? This guy is unreal and his smug attitude makes me even more satisfied we won’t have to put up with him any longer.

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan to be Replaced by Dan Schulman, Orel Hershiser on ESPN

Jon Miller is one of my favorite broadcasters around. Joe Morgan is my least. It’s unfortunate that the latter all but certainly cost the former his job. Jimmy Traina shared with us the New York Times report that ESPN is breaking up its Sunday Night Baseball team after 20 years. They say Orel Hershiser, who joined Miller and Morgan as part of a three-man team this past season, will serve as the analyst to Dan Schulman.

The move from ESPN was long overdue. It got to the point with Morgan where I couldn’t listen to the man speak without thinking there was something wrong or erroneous about what he was saying. That happens when you tell lie, after lie, after lie on national television and the listening audience calls you out each time. Joe Morgan has a big name but zero credibility. Not that having zero credibility has not stopped networks from hiring people before, but it should be a huge factor in putting someone in front of millions.

The good news is we don’t have to endure Morgan regaling us with falsehoods any longer. Also, Jon Miller may continue doing Sunday night play-by-play for ESPN Radio, so he might not be entirely missed. Lastly, Schulman is an excellent play-by-play man and Hershiser provides great commentary, so I’m looking forward to hearing them on TV in the future. Good move by ESPN, it was about time and they did a great job picking the replacement team.

Joe Morgan Lies Again When Clarifying Previous Lie on Sunday Night Baseball

Joe MorganSomething must be done to stop this ghastly man! Seriously, for anyone who said it was “mean-spirited” to create a website called Fire Joe Morgan, you’ve never watched Sunday Night Baseball otherwise you would understand why it was launched. And clearly after lies three years in a row, ESPN isn’t getting the message so it’s up to us to let them know we won’t take it. Anyway, getting to the point, last week on June 14th when the Cardinals were playing the Indians, Cliff Lee took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. That prompted commentator Joe Morgan to tell a story from his playing days about a pitcher on his team who had a no-hitter going.

Morgan said he advised pitcher Don Wilson to walk the great Hank Aaron before trying to seal the final out of a no-hitter. Wilson, according to the story, told Morgan to go back to second base, and Wilson proceeded to strike out Aaron for the no-hitter. History tells us that Wilson did indeed throw a no-hitter against the Braves but the only problem is that Morgan wasn’t playing that day which makes his little story (about suggesting the pitcher walk the tough hitter) a complete lie. Thanks to some of the blogs and astute listeners out there playing watch dog, Morgan was caught (once again) and he felt compelled to address the situation on Sunday Night Baseball between the Angels and Dodgers on June 21st. Here’s what he said:

“Jon [Miller], I want to correct something that I said last week — you weren’t here so you weren’t involved — but last week we were talking about Don Wilson pitching a no-hitter and I remember talking to him about Hank Aaron and saying it wouldn’t be the worst thing if he walked him. And he said ‘get away’ and he went out and struck him out. Well it happened in the dugout, not on the field. I got it mixed up with an incident I had with Al Hollins, who in a similar situation was pitching with me at the Giants, so I had the two confused.”

Get that, so Morgan clarifies his lie from last week, saying that the imaginary conversation between him and Wilson regarding Hank Aaron occurred in the dugout this time, not the field. And instead of just admitting that he never had the conversation with Wilson but just got in confused with an incident with Hollins, he told another lie while trying to cover his tracks. He said that the conversation occurred in the dugout. Well, considering that they were mid-inning and that Aaron came up with two outs, it would be pretty hard for Wilson and Morgan to converse in the dugout.

What did Wilson do, ask the umpire for time so he could run to the bench and go over the gameplan with Joe Morgan? Did he suddenly feel a need for sunflower seeds and bubble gum and that’s how he wound up in the dugout mid-inning? Someone explain to me how this “conversation” occurred in the dugout if Wilson was on the hill and one out away from a no-hitter when Hank Aaron came up. Why can’t Morgan just admit he’s wrong and apologize for getting mixed up? Doesn’t ESPN realize how bad he is? He tried to cover up lies with more lies. Somebody please spare us.

UPDATE: A comment from a previous story says Morgan was roaring and raring for another lie on Sunday night. Nice.

Joe Morgan Tells Yet Another Lie on Sunday Night Baseball

Joe MorganThis is almost becoming a habit for Joe Morgan and no longer a surprise. Two years ago, Morgan lied during a Sunday night game, saying he contributed to the Phillies blowing a big lead down the stretch of the ’64 season as a rookie with Houston. A few problems: Morgan made his rookie debut in ’63 and the Phillies never played the Astros during their collapse. Last year Morgan professed to be one of the stadium builders for the Cubs, saying the netting a Wrigley Field was named Banks Boulevard for all the home runs he hit up there. In actuality, the netting wasn’t put up until the end of Banks’ career and it never had that nickname. Now, for the third straight year, we’ve found Morgan lying yet again. The latest fib came right after Yadier Molina doubled in the 8th to break up Cliff Lee’s no-hit bid. As Morgan told it on ESPN, via Deadspin:

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Joe Morgan Making Up Facts Once Again

Joe MorganI didn’t really mean to post this up, but when there’s a guy broadcasting on a large stage like Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN just filling the airwaves with nonsense, he needs to be called out for it. Such is the story with Joe Morgan, who continues to prove once again why he needs to be put on mute. If you remember last year, Morgan was caught telling a blatant lie on air. He placed himself in a historical context that never existed. Yes, he fabricated a story. Which brings us to Sunday night when Eric Patterson hit a home run at Wrigley Field that landed in the netting in left field, barely clearing the fence. Morgan essentially called it a cheap home run but went even further to say the basket of netting was placed there when Ernie Banks played and that it was called “Banks Boulevard” because he hit so many home runs there. Unfortunately I was duped like many other saps into believing the story, though I should have known better. Luckily Awful Announcing is here to correct things, giving the explanation from Bleed Cubbie Blue:

“There are many reasons virtually all of us criticize Joe Morgan’s “broadcasting” (the quotes are there for obvious reasons; he may be among the worst sports broadcasters in history). However, when he invents “facts” to back up his biases, I think he needs to be called on it and shown that doing this isn’t just wrong, it’s irresponsible. I speak here of his continued carping about the Wrigley Field outfield wall basket and his contention that Ernie Banks deposited “many” home runs into the basket.

Ernie Banks was nearing the end of his career when this basket was installed. I went through Ernie’s game logs. After April 26, 1970, he hit 8 home runs at Wrigley Field. Eight. The first one he hit after that was one I personally witnessed — his career #499, hit on May 9, 1970. That one didn’t go in the basket. Video exists of his 500th, hit three days after that, on May 12, 1970 — you’ve probably seen this video, and know that one didn’t go in the basket, either.

That leaves six others. It’s possible that all of them landed in the basket, but I doubt it. And even if that’s true, that’s six of 512 — a little over 1% of his career total, maybe 2% of all he hit at Wrigley. The basket was never, ever called “Banks Boulevard”, nor nicknamed after any other player.”

Cub Hub has more details correcting Morgan, and Awful Announcing even has the video if you want to hear the b.s. for yourself. I don’t know why this guy feels the need to make up stories. Why can’t he just shut up when he doesn’t know what the eff he’s talking about? Someone, someone, please get this guy off the air!

How to Improve Sports Broadcasts

It’s so simple, so basic, so easy, I can’t believe it’s never come up before. I can’t believe I never before thought of this. I can’t believe no companies have actually done it! How many times have you had to press the mute button on your TV because a play-by-play guy or analyst was ruining the game for you? How many times did you wish a mild case of food poisoning would send one of the broadcasters into the bathroom for the duration of the event? I know it’s happened with me, I know it’s happened with many friends, and I certainly know there’s an entire website based on this dream, and one based on their blunders. So check it: how awesome would it be if networks allowed you the option to choose your audio feed for a game, giving you the ability to mute the play-by-play guy, the analyst, the crowd noise, whatever you want.

Imagine a world in which ESPN gave you the ability as a viewer to mute Joe Morgan on Sunday nights and just let the soothing sounds of Jon Miller tell the story. How happy would you be to hear him say, “and what do you think about that, Joe?” only to hear silence. I know that would put a smile on my face. Can’t stand homer calls by guys like Rex Hudler? Select just the Steve Physioc audio. Had enough of Bryant Gumbel botching names? Cut him out. Sick of Billy Packer pronouncing games over before halftime? No more! I might not be an audio engineer, but I know all the different audio sources are fed into the same audio mixer — the broadcasters, the crowd sound, etc. Now if they separated each of them and then allowed the viewer to choose his/her own feed of choice, how money would that be?

I know it can be done — and networks are always looking for new ways to get their audience to be interactive, so this would be perfect. They could even market a new gadget or something and get people buying special sound systems that allow this option. Whatever. I just know that sports fans across the country would be clamoring for the opportunity to hit the mute on Morgan or Madden or even Gumbel. How awesome would that be?

Joe Morgan: Chase Utley Could be Best Hitting Second Baseman Ever

Yeah I know, I almost fell over in my chair after hearing none other than Joe Morgan utter those very words on Sunday. Morgan — the same guy who is so egotistical he placed himself in the middle of history to brag about something he never did during his career — actually doled out a compliment on Sunday. To a second baseman. To someone who doesn’t play for the Reds. To a present-day player. Imagine that! This is also the same Morgan who I’m told by Chicago-sports connoisseur Lance Johnson, upset Cubs fans by failing to give Ryne Sandberg credit. Perhaps Morgan’s turned over a new leaf. I don’t have the actual quote, but after Chase Utley hit his second home run of the ballgame on Sunday to make it Utley 4 and the Mets 0, Morgan said that Utley may end up being the greatest hitting second baseman ever.

That’s right, Joe Morgan thinks Utley could be better than Morgan himself was! Joe really outdid himself, absolutely gushing over Utley. As the replays continued to show yet another moonshot by Utley, Morgan raved: “he’s got a beautiful stroke … what a beautiful swing … great hands.” Seriously, it was like Morgan wanted to mount Utley after the game for a post-game celebration if you know what I mean. I don’t know what got Joe so off-hinged, but he’s right — Utley could wind up being the best hitting second baseman of all-time. Right now that honor belongs to Jeff Kent, but the way Chase is going, the title will be his. Utley’s just the best all-around hitting second baseman we’ve seen — simple as that. And Joe actually complimented him! Isn’t that crazy?

By the way, if you’re a parent, that is exactly how you want your kid’s swing to look; it’s text book.